bar·​ber | \ ˈbär-bər How to pronounce barber (audio) \

Definition of barber

 (Entry 1 of 3)

: one whose business is cutting and dressing hair, shaving and trimming beards, and performing related services


barbered; barbering\ ˈbär-​b(ə-​)riŋ How to pronounce barber (audio) \

Definition of barber (Entry 2 of 3)

transitive verb

: to perform the services of a barber for : trim or groom the hair or beard of

intransitive verb

: to perform the services of a barber


biographical name
Bar·​ber | \ ˈbär-bər How to pronounce Barber (audio) \

Definition of Barber (Entry 3 of 3)

Samuel 1910–1981 American composer

Examples of barber in a Sentence

Noun He goes to a barber downtown. went to the barber to get his hair cut and his beard trimmed
Recent Examples on the Web: Noun At bases around the globe, exchanges house everything from fast-food chains to barber shops to small merchants running concession stands selling products to soldiers, civilians and their families. Zachariah Hughes, Anchorage Daily News, 29 Dec. 2021 Across the country, the herculean efforts of advocates and health officials like Richmond brought shots to those who were initially resistant in churches, barber shops, homes and wherever people felt comfortable. Washington Post, 29 Dec. 2021 Sure, our point of sale system for barber shops might not look like the Next Big Thing, but our real plan is to remake how everything is sold, and kill WalMart/Amazon/military supply chains/God. Steven Levy, Wired, 21 Dec. 2021 Emad Abul-Hayyat has run a barbershop in Jenin since 1971 with leather and chrome barber chairs imported from Egypt. Thomas Grove, WSJ, 11 Dec. 2021 These are the conversations that are happening in the barber shops and the beauty salons. Brian Steinberg, Variety, 9 Dec. 2021 The Atlanta barber shop owned by activist, hip-hop star and entrepreneur Killer Mike was vandalized earlier this week with graffiti. Rodney Ho, ajc, 31 Dec. 2021 From personal experience, one such place is a chair in a barber shop. Eric Bangeman, Ars Technica, 24 Dec. 2021 But when one of the men begs for a haircut, Nathan commits the Black Man Cardinal Sin™ of cutting another barber’s client. Cate Young, Vulture, 28 Nov. 2021 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb From the porch of his childhood home in Cherry Hill to barber shops across Baltimore, Troy Staton, 52, has cut hair for nearly four decades. Tatyana Turner,, 14 Dec. 2020 The new campus will have a 28-chair clinic classroom, 12-chair barbering clinic classroom and five large classroom spaces for more training. Evan Casey, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, 11 Feb. 2020 Roger Federer, while not infallible, can play when there is barbered grass underfoot. The Si Staff,, 29 June 2018 Ethos, Jacobs’ barbering biz featuring a traveling grooming station, was born. Elizabeth Wellington,, 21 June 2018 Missouri law requires a training course of 1,000 hours for barbering and 1,500 hours for hairdressing, followed by a licensing exam. Tony Rizzo, kansascity, 11 Jan. 2018 The center offers auto and collision training in several garage bays, a welding shop, a dental lab, a cosmetology and barbering center, graphic arts and a culinary arts program. Carole Carlson, Post-Tribune, 23 Dec. 2017 But barbering was hard on daddy’s feet, and mother was homesick. WSJ, 19 Dec. 2017 There are still all kinds of souvenirs and reminders of the two Italian barbers and their customers: postcards stuck into the mirrors, decades of shavers and other barbering gadgetry. Polly Campbell,, 12 Oct. 2017

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'barber.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of barber


14th century, in the meaning defined above


circa 1616, in the meaning defined at transitive sense

History and Etymology for barber


Middle English, from Anglo-French barbour, from barbe beard — more at barb

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The first known use of barber was in the 14th century

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Last Updated

16 Jan 2022

Cite this Entry

“Barber.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 19 Jan. 2022.

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More Definitions for barber



English Language Learners Definition of barber

: a person whose job is to cut men's hair


bar·​ber | \ ˈbär-bər How to pronounce barber (audio) \

Kids Definition of barber

: a person whose business is cutting hair and shaving and trimming beards

More from Merriam-Webster on barber

Nglish: Translation of barber for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of barber for Arabic Speakers Encyclopedia article about barber


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